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Developers Pony Up $225,000 for Zoning Referendum

Combined, the groups opposing zoning bills affecting the 2nd and 6th Districts spent more than $2 per signature.

Developers paid $225,000 to create two groups focused on pushing two zoning bills to the 2014 ballot.

The Committee for Zoning Integrity raised $100,000 for efforts to overturn the zoning bill passed for properties in the 6th District which includes Essex, Middle River and Parkville. The same group also put $25,000 towards the effort to overturn the 2nd District zoning bill also passed in August.

A separate group, the Committee for Zoning Transparency, raised more than $100,000 to overturn the decisions for the second district, which includes Owings Mills, Pikesville and Reisterstown.

The amounts raised by the two groups was part of a set of three financial disclosures filed with the Baltimore County Board of Elections Monday.

All of the money put toward the referendum effort was paid by developers.

Stuart Kaplow, an attorney for the Committee for Zoning Integrity, said his clients decided to file the disclosures even though they didn't have to by law.

"They decided to do it because they have nothing to hide," Kaplow said, adding that other groups opposing the efforts of his clients do not have to disclose how much they've spent.

Kaplow represents David S. Brown Enterprises and David Cordish.

Nearly 90 percent of the more than $187,000 spent by the two groups paid for the services of Georgia-based National Ballot Access, which coordinated the signature gathering and verification efforts.

All told, the two groups combined to submit more than 86,000 signatures between the two potential ballot issues—a cost of more than $2 per signature.

"That's really chump change," Kaplow said. "It's really a nominal amount of money."

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Buck Harmon October 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I find it interesting that greed driven developers are allowed to continue the process of buying zoning decisions....either through campaign contributions or this kind of stunt. Neither side seems to play fair....a symptom of greed for sure.. The apathetic public (the majority), fall prey to these stunts every time. Who ever spends the most will prevail...as always.
Buck Harmon October 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Kaplow used the term "chump change".....would that indicate that the money was spent to get "chumps" that would sign anything to participate?
Jay Fitzgerald October 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Truly shows the arrogance and disregard for the communities affected long as Cordish gets his way..or else.
Steve October 16, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Look at how much money was spent on the Statewide referendums on Same Sex Marriage and Instate Tuition for Undocumented aliens.
JDStuts October 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Actually, the best part is the Kaplow letter's bottom disclosure: "Our law firm is constantly working to minimize our impact on the planet." Who's in the kitchen cooking up all that delicious irony?
William Lutostanski Jr October 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Illegal aliens.
Maryland October 16, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Nothing to hide? Then why come up with the Committee for Zoning Integrity/Transparency and start a website that calls for "public mandate for more meaningful public input and less prioritization for the concerns of special interests and developers, many of whom are regular contributors to Council campaign accounts." The only reason we have any kind of "transparency" is because they ARE required to produce this disclosure by law.

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